DALIAN, China - No.1 seed Duan Ying-Ying made a good start to her home campaign at the Dalian Open WTA 125K event with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over qualifier Beatrice Gumulya in 63 minutes.
Chinese No.5 Duan, fresh off a second-round showing at the US Open, struck six aces and broke her Indonesian opponent five times in total. Gumulya, a Clemson University alumna ranked No.872, was making her debut in a WTA 125 main draw but only managed to break the Duan serve once, in the penultimate game of the match.
In the second round, Duan will face compatriot Liu Fangzhou, against whom she enjoys a 4-0 head-to-head record, after Liu routed Japanese Lucky Loser Hiroko Kuwata 6-1, 6-0 in 48 minutes. Elsewhere, Ukraine's No.5 seed Kateryna Kozlova, fresh off her first ever Slam main draw win at the US Open, moved past Thailand's Peangtarn Plipuech 6-3, 6-2; and Australian No.9 seed Arina Rodionova beat South Korea's Jang Su-Jeong for the second time this year 6-4, 7-6(3).
Among the big stories in Dalian is the ongoing return of Vera Zvonareva, who won her first round on Tuesday - but she's not the only player on the comeback trail here. Oft-injured former World No.71 Vitalia Diatchenko is now ranked No.250 and playing just her sixth tournament of 2017 here. The Russian has shown good form on the ITF circuit recently, taking the title in Chiswick last month and scoring semifinals in Woking and Artvin - a run that included victories over Viktoria Kuzmova, who stretched Venus Williams to three sets in the first round of the US Open, and 2016 Wimbledon girls' champion Anastasia Potapova.
Today, Diatchenko continued her fine play with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Japan's Riko Sawayanagi to set up a tantalizing second round encounter against No.2 seed Danka Kovinic. The Montenegrin overcame an early scare to defeat Dalila Jakupovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.